In his New York Times op-ed today on Iraq, Barack Obama makes several claims worth examining.
In his opening paragraph, Obama writes
The call by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki for a timetable for the removal of American troops from Iraq presents an enormous opportunity. We should seize this moment to begin the phased redeployment of combat troops that I have long advocated, and that is needed for long-term success in Iraq and the security interests of the United States.
A phased redeployment of combat troops can now be done in the context of a victory in Iraq, whereas when Obama first called for the complete withdrawal of all combat troops in Iraq by March 2008, it would have led to an American defeat. It is because President Bush endorsed a counterinsurgency plan which Senator Obama fiercely opposed that we are in a position to both withdraw additional combat troops and prevail in Iraq.